Interviews

A Global History of Hungary: In Conversation with Ferenc Laczó, Bálint Varga, and Dóra Vargha

In this conversation with Bence Bari and Orsolya Sudár, editors Ferenc Laczó and Bálint Varga and contributor Dóra Vargha discuss the new volume “Magyarország globális története, 1869-2022 (A Global History of Hungary, 1869-2022)”. The conversation focuses on some of the innovative questions posed by trying to reconceptualize the history of a Central and Eastern European…

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Davide Rodogno on the Troubled History of Western Humanitarianism

In this conversation with guest contributor Nikola Pantić, Davide Rodogno discusses his new book Night on Earth: A History of International Humanitarianism in the Near East, 1918-1930 (Cambridge University Press, 2021). The conversation focuses on the reasons why the Middle East became a popular destination for Western humanitarian agencies in the first decades of the…

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Imperialism in Russian Literature

In this conversation with our editor Kasia Krzyżanowska, professor Ewa Thompson discusses the imperialistic features of the Russian Federations; elaborates on how Russian writers advanced the imperial message of Russia, and shows  the persistence of the imperialistic motifs in the Russian literature. 

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The ‘New Europe’ Campaign: The Failure of Liberal Internationalism and the Resilience of Imperialism

Historians of the Habsburg Empire and the First World War analyze the fascinating story of Robert William Seton-Watson’s propaganda for the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the creation of a ‘New Europe.’ They historicize ideas concerning the ‘balance of power’, European integration, anti-imperialist liberal internationalism, and the making of the post-Habsburg nation-states in Central…

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Reflections of a European Man

In conversation with RevDem editor Kasia Krzyżanowska, Stefan Auer discusses his new book European Disunion. Democracy, Sovereignty, and the Politics of Emergency (Hurst&Company 2022). In a conversation, he points out to the EU hubris, discusses crises that hit the EU recently, puts into a broader context Russian invasion of Ukraine, and shares his scepticism on…

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Interrogating the Fantasy and Impact of Displacement: A Conversation with Lorenzo Veracini on Settler Colonialism as a Political Idea

In this conversation, Lorenzo Veracini reflects on key ideas in his new intellectual history of settler colonialism The World Turned Inside Out. He outlines the transnational coherence of the political sensibilities and rhetorical traditions of settler colonialism and shows how attention to ideas and practices of displacement might help us make sense of the historical…

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Local oil, global finance, and democracies without citizen-creditors: in conversation with Helen Thompson

In conversation with Vera Šćepanović, Helen Thompson explains how concentrating on energy can reshape our understanding of contemporary history, political economy, and transnational finance; discusses how international relations are simultaneously shaped by zero-sum attitudes and tacit cooperation; asks what it means when representative democracies no longer rely on ‘citizen-creditors’; and reflects on how the profound…

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What is Christian Democracy? A Book Discussion with Carlo Invernizzi Accetti

In September CEU Democracy Institute and the Review of Democracy held the symposium “The Past and Present of Christian Democracy” where leading scholars discussed the historical significance and contemporary state of Christian Democracy. The first panel was dedicated to Carlo Invernizzi Accetti’s book “What is Christian Democracy? Politics, Religion and Ideology”. The book was discussed…

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For a Democracy, It Is Vital to Be Able to Tell Facts Apart

Our editor Robert Nemeth talks to Marius Dragomir and Astrid Söderström, authors of a recent study on the state of state media globally, which covers 546 state media outlets in 151 countries in the world, and it found that government control has reached extremely high levels: nearly 80% of these state-administered media companies lack editorial…

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Mark R. Beissinger: Revolutions have succeeded more often in our time, but their consequences have become more ambiguous

In this conversation with RevDem editor Ferenc Laczó, Mark R. Beissinger introduces his unique global dataset and probabilistic structural approach to revolution; analyzes the prevalent form of revolution in our age he calls “urban civic”; dissects how the consequences of revolution have shifted over time; and reflects on how revolution may be changing again today.

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Maarten Prak: Democracy in medieval and early-modern towns was stronger than democracy post 1789

In this interview with Maarten Prak, hosted by Karen Culver, they discuss Maarten’s book Citizens without Nations: Urban Citizenship in Europe and the World c. 1000-1789. Maarten comments on how citizenship functioned in medieval and early modern Europe; why the term “urban governance” is preferable to “urban democracy”; how accessible guilds were at this time, and more.

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Dunstan: Black thinkers have contested the principles of democracy in ways that are central to the experience of these democracies

Sarah Dunstan in conversation with Ferenc Laczó talks about her new monograph “Race, Rights and Reform”, maps the landscape of Black activist thought across the French Empire and the United States from World War One to the Cold War; shows how gender operated in tandem with the dynamics of race and class; underlines how the end of empire connected…

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2021’s End of Year Special

Our editors Laszlo Bruszt, Oliver Garner, Kasia Krzyżanowska, Ferenc Laczo, and Michal Matlak discuss their favorite RevDem content, as well as the year’s highlights and the most significant developments of the year.

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Emily Greble: European History via the Experience of Muslims

Emily Greble in conversation with Ferenc Laczo discusses what foregrounding Muslims’ agency implies for the writing of European history; what were key legacies of the Ottoman Empire and how Muslims became a distinct legal minority; in what ways they related to the major political movements of the twentieth century; and how focusing on their experiences…

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Linking sexual diversity to otherness is an old phenomenon 

Bence Bari interviews Tamás Dombos, the representative of the Hungarian LGBTQI organization ‘Háttér Society’ concerning the recently adopted Hungarian anti-LGBT measures, their transnational and historical background with respect to the global dynamics of acceptance, and homophobia between the Western and Eastern hemisphere.

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Emily Levine on the Hard Compromises behind Academic Innovation

In conversation with RevDem editor Ferenc Laczó, Emily Levine (Stanford University) discusses key ideas in her new book “Allies and Rivals: German-American Exchange and the Rise of the Modern Research University”, a transatlantic monograph that draws on extensive historical research and applies sociological theory to study how the academic social contract was repeatedly renegotiated in…

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Lea Ypi: Ideas of freedom across a historical rupture

Lea Ypi in conversation with Ferenc Laczo about her new memoir “Free: Coming of Age at the End of History” and how the people who populate its pages help her connect historical experiences with philosophical thought; how she experienced and dealt with the rupture of 1990 that forced her to reassess her childhood; how that…

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Thinking like Hannah Arendt

Our editor Kasia Krzyżanowska (EUI, CEU) talks with Samantha Rose Hill, professor at the Brooklyn Institute for Social Research, about her recently published biography of Hannah Arendt. 

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Image credit: Annie Ernaux/ photo Catherine Hélie, Gallimard

Annie Ernaux and History

“More often than not, we get the sense that events are unfolding in the background, often detached from individuals, and that yet they will somehow influence individual lives” says Dr Elise Hugueny-Léger, Senior Lecturer in French at the University of St Andrews, in this interview with Kasia Krzyżanowska.

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Ruling by Cheating? In Conversation with András Sajó

Our assistant editor Teodora Miljojković (CEU) talks with András Sajó, Professor in the Law Department of Central European University and former judge of the European Court of Human Rights about his new book, the tactics of illiberal regimes, their relationship to the rule of law, and shortfalls in the EU’s reaction.

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Konrad Jarausch on Realistic Progress

RevDem editor Ferenc Laczo interviewed historian Konrad H. Jarausch, Lurcy Professor of European Civilization at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, about his latest book Embattled Europe: A Progressive Alternative, a rich and finely balanced portrait of contemporary Europe.

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Can Technology Save Democracy?

How can we employ technology to facilitate the democratic process? Which platforms are more democratic than others? These and more questions are answered by Kevin Esterling, Professor of Political Science and Public Policy at the University of California in a conversation with the RevDem assistant editor, Catherine Wright. 

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Owning the Constitution: Chile’s Unexpected Civil Revolution

On 4 July 2021, Chile’s “unexpected” Constitutional Convention commenced following a grassroots civil revolution against the current regime since 2019. Co-Head of Section for Cross-Regional Dialogue Stefano Palestini Céspedes (Catholic University of Chile) interviews Julieta Suárez-Cao (Catholic University of Chile) and Patricia Politzer (Journalist and Member of the Chilean Constitutional Assembly) to discuss their roles…

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Corrective power of the populists

Do populists pose a threat to constitutional democracy? Are populists always the villains in our tales about democracy? Bojan Bugarič answers these questions in a conversation with Kasia Krzyżanowska. He also talks about his recent book on the relationship between constitutionalism and populism, co-authored with Mark Tushnet.

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